Paradoxical side effects of green advertising: how purchasing green products may instigate licensing effects for consumers with a weak environmental identity

Marijn H.C. Meijers*, Marret K. Noordewier, Peeter W.J. Verlegh, Winne Willems, Edith G. Smit

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Research into green advertising has mainly investigated how green appeals can enhance product attitudes, sales, and brand image. But what happens after people have purchased a ‘green’ product advertised in a green ad? In two experiments, we show that purchasing a green product may have paradoxical post-purchase effects, such that it may lower intentions to engage in subsequent environmentally friendly behaviour (a so-called licensing effect). Importantly, our results show that these post-purchase effects are moderated by environmental identity: only people with a weak environmental identity show these paradoxical post-purchase licensing effects, people with a strong environmental identity are more likely to continue behaving in an environmentally friendly way.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1202-1223
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Advertising
Volume38
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • consistency
  • environment
  • Green advertising
  • identity
  • licensing

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